October is the best month, it always has been! When I was younger it was because it was my birthday month but these days I just love the crisp Autumnal mornings, falling crunchy leaves and enjoying the extra hour in bed after turning the clocks back. October this year has been particularly ace due to my market stall launching (the next one will be 15th November, Ascot farmers market, be there or be square). Due to the madness of planning, setting up and baking for the stall I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to blogging (Seriously, where does the time disappear to?!) so to make up for my slack behaviour, I thought I’d share with you my favourite cake OF ALL TIME! It needs no technique, its pretty much fool proof and perfect for chilly afternoons with a cuppa.
Carrot cake has long been my favourite cake but I have eaten many bad ones in my time. If you want your carrot cake to be bursting with nuts, sultanas, spices and topped with tangy cream cheese icing then this is the cake of your dreams. It has three different types of nuts to add texture and flavour. I used heritage carrots that I found at Borough market but feel free to use normal carrots, they work exactly the same. The icing sugar I used was Billingtons Unrefined Icing Sugar, which has a natural caramel flavour, lended itself to the cake perfectly. I also trimmed the edges of the cake with a nut praline. You can make nut praline by heating 100g or sugar in a pan, do not stir it, just gently shake the pan as it begins to melt on a gentle heat. Wait until you have a soft brown colour, add 100g of nuts and tip onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment paper, leave to cool then whizz up in a food processor.
Triple nut carrot cake
•140 ml vegetable oil
•200 g light brown sugar
•300 g grated carrots (grated weight)
•100 g sultanas
•30 g pecans, 30g walnuts, 30g pistachios
•180 g self-raising flour
•1 pinches salt
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1 teaspoon ground ginger
•200g softened butter
•125g full fat cream cheese
•250g Billingtons Unrefined Icing Sugar
1) Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees. Grease and line a 20cm springform round tin
2)Beat together your sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add your grated carrots, oil, sultanas and nuts and stir well.
3) Sieve in your flour, spices and salt. Stir until just combined. Tip into your tin and pop into your pre heated oven. Bake for an hour, check after 50 minutes if you have a fan oven. It should be golden brown and an inserted skewer should come out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
4) To make the cream cheese icing, beat your room temperature butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat, add icing sugar a bit at a time and mix well until desired sweetness is achieved. Spread on top of your completely cooled cake and finish with any leftover nuts and the praline.